Times are tough right now, and with millions of people suddenly out of work, a lot of people are having a hard time paying their rent. Today, the Houston City Council passed a $15 million rental assistance program designed to help Houstonians who have fallen behind on their rent payments during the coronavirus pandemic.
City officials have estimated the plan could help anywhere from 7,000 to 13,000 Houstonians who are struggling to pay their rent.
“The need is great in our city and we want to do our part to assist as many families as we can,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
The program will be managed by local nonprofit BakerRipley, and those who want to seek rental help will be able to do so through the program’s website. Renters must live inside the city of Houston, be late on rent payments in April and/or May, be current on all rent for the months prior to April 2020, confirm that their inability to pay is due to financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and have an income lower than 80% of the area’s median income (about $40,000 for individuals or $60,000 for a family of 4) or qualify for a program like Medicaid, WIC, SNAP, Head Start, or VA Pension.
Landlords wishing to participate in the program must follow specific guidelines, including waiving late rent, recalling any eviction notices issued over the last two months, and allowing tenants to enter into a payment plan to repay late rent due in excess of the $1,056 the program will provide.
The website is expected to launch fully by May 7th at 10 am, so visit HoustonRentAssistance.org at that time for more details.